NBA Playoff Teams Ranked by Facebook Page Engagement

So Lebron and Kobe may (or may not) be heading towards a much-hyped NBA Finals matchup, but the real question on fans’ minds is: Which NBA playoff teams have the most user engagement on their Facebook Pages?

Ok fans could care less about that, but for myself and some sports and social media marketers out there it’s an interesting question.

In my post on the most popular NBA teams on Twitter and Facebook (and the more recent one on MLB teams) I looked strictly at the following each team has built up. This time I’ll compare user engagement on each team’s Facebook page.

With the second round of the playoffs recently under way I thought now was a good time to pull the numbers since all 16 teams were still recently active. So I checked the number of likes and comments for each team’s last 10 updates. I was going to go back to the first day of the playoffs but that turned out to be quite a few updates, so I’m using 10 as a representative sample.

I realize that counting likes and comments is a very limited measurement of engagement but it offers a simple way to compare user activity on each team’s Facebook Page.

So here are the 16 NBA playoff teams ranked by the average number of likes and comments on their last 10 updates (through Monday night prior to the start of any games):

  Facebook FansAverage LikesAverage CommentsTotal
(Avg Likes + Comments)
1Los Angeles Lakers915,5042156.9370.12527
2Denver Nuggets151,165784.3251.11035.4
3Boston Celtics592,509632.6233865.6
4Cleveland Cavaliers282,234647.2132.1779.3
5Chicago Bulls202,975559.1179.2738.3
6Phoenix Suns91,889182.475.2257.6
7Dallas Mavericks104,67045.2194.4239.6
8San Antonio Spurs59,806160.559219.5
9Portland Trail Blazers95,4697892.3170.3
10Miami Heat16,81499.846.1145.9
11Milwaukee Bucks47,59370.260.1130.3
12Atlanta Hawks20,15569.548.8118.3
13Utah Jazz67,59541.365.1106.4
14Orlando Magic130,0227033.2103.2
15Oklahoma City Thunder26,53954.924.779.6
16Charlotte Bobcats17,17816.118.834.9

The Lakers are dominating but more fans mean more opportunities for engagement so they do have an advantage. Denver makes a strong showing at #2 despite having fewer fans than four other teams. Orlando having a long lay-off between the first and second rounds had a negative impact on their numbers. Their most recent 10 updates got limited feedback but the 10 before that fared much better.

Oklahoma City was a surprise at #15; I expected them to do better after their impressive effort in the first round. The Charlotte Bobcats came in last; unless they can get Michael Jordan to start making updates they’ve got their work cut out for them.

So what types of updates drew the most user feedback? Here are the wall posts that received the most likes for each team:

Los Angeles Lakers Facebook page

Denver Nuggets Facebook page

Chicago Bulls Facebook page

Boston Celtics Facebook page

Cleveland Cavaliers Facebook page

Portland Trail Blazers Facebook page

Miami Heat Facebook page

San Antonio Spurs Facebook page

Phoenix Suns Facebook page

Atlanta Hawks Facebook page

Milwaukee Bucks Facebook page

Orlando Magic Facebook page

Dallas Mavericks Facebook page

Oklahoma City Thunder Facebook page

Utah Jazz Facebook page

Charlotte Bobcats Facebook page


  1. says

    Very impressive Adam, I think we’ve all screen-grabbed those images and it takes time! Great take on NBA/social media.

  2. says

    Interesting data. :) Chicago Bulls were about where I’d expect them. It would be interesting to compare that and see if there is a relationship between the comments and the total number of fans for a team and against the larger picture of how a team promotes their Facebook pages. For other leagues, I’ve seen huge discrepancies in numbers, part of it because teams in that league had financial incentive to promote their on content pages in order to get money from the league for driving traffic to the league’s site. So in the context of a wider social media strategy, it would be even more fascinating.

    But interesting read and I really appreciate how you laid out how you got this data and why you did the data collection method you chose. Reading about this sort of work can be a right pain in the ass, especially as many people don’t explain that methodology so you can’t repeat their work.

  3. says

    Thanks Anthony, and you’re right 16 screen grabs wasn’t nothing. :)

    That’s a good point Laura, it would definitely be interesting to add in that additional context about how teams promote their pages and what ties-ins (financial or otherwise) there might be with the league. Thanks for sharing that insight.

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